Taking responsibility: Truth, trust, and justice


Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


In this chapter I refer to ideal collegial relationships as relationships of virtue and draw on the Aristotelian notion of virtuous friendship to clarify and ground the argument. I also presuppose a heterogeneous category of what I term ‘educational professionals’ that comprises a wide range of occupational groupings. We live in a society that is not only increasingly professionalised, but increasingly pedagogicised: a society, that is, in which professionals in different walks of life and different institutional settings define their professionalism, and mediate their professional practice, in increasingly pedagogical terms. Professionals are now expected to explain, persuade, mediate, consult, negotiate, and learn from, and with, their clients. That is all for the good, but it suggests new forms of collegiality across professional boundaries and new forms of public-professional engagement. It also suggests a renewed sense of intellectual solidarity: the ‘we’ and the ‘us’ that Said (Humanism and democratic criticism. Columbia University Press, New York, 2004) had in mind when he refers to ‘scholar-teachers’, carrying forward what he saw as a radical tradition of ‘critical humanism’, or the notion of ‘we scholars’ that Damrosch (We scholars: changing the culture of the university. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995) evoked in his brave attempt to envisage ‘the next intellectuals’. Copyright © 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationValues of the university in a time of uncertainty
EditorsPaul GIBBS, Jill JAMESON, Alex ELWICK
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783030159702
ISBN (Print)9783030159696
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Nixon, J. (2019). Taking responsibility: Truth, trust, and justice. In P. Gibbs, J. Jameson, & A. Elwick (Eds.), Values of the university in a time of uncertainty (pp. 185-197). Cham: Springer.


  • Responsibility
  • Truth
  • Trust
  • Justice
  • Virtuous friendship


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